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article imageIsraeli, Lebanese soldiers clash at border

By Sam Halaby     Aug 1, 2011 in World
Beirut - Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) exchanged gunfire along Lebanon’s southern border with Israel Monday morning.
The incident occurred Monday morning after a Lebanese soldier had shot at IDF soldiers along the Wazzani River in the southeast corner of Lebanon, to which IDF soldiers returned fire, according to Haaretz.
Lebanese media outlet Naharnet initially reported that IDF soldiers had crossed onto the Lebanese side of the border, to which Israeli military officials stressed that they were operating on the Israeli side.
Initial reports indicated that a Lebanese soldier was wounded during the confrontation, to which the peacekeeper force, United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), has denied. No IDF soldiers were injured in the incident.
UNIFIL spokesperson Neeraj Singh said that UN vehicles responded immediately at the time of the incident, in order to avoid an escalation, according to Arutz Sheva.
Haaretz reported Singh saying that UNIFIL is currently investigating the matter.
At a celebration marking the Lebanese army’s 66th anniversary, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman praised the Lebanese army’s response to what he called “attacks and provocations” from Israel’s “renewed aggression”, Haaretz reported.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the IDF responded accordingly, and that the Israeli army is “determined to defend themselves and the border”, the Jerusalem Post reported.
In 2010, IDF battalion commander Dov Harari was killed and another IDF reservist was wounded by Lebanese snipers during a similar incident along the Lebanese-Israeli border, in what IDF officials called a “planned provocation by the Lebanese army”. A Lebanese journalist and two Lebanese soldiers were also killed in the exchange in gunfire.
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